Depression, or major depressive disorder, is a mood disorder causing persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness and a lack of interest in normal activities for two weeks or longer. Other symptoms include feelings of worthlessness or shame, foggy thinking and memory issues, agitation, irritability or anger, sleep disturbances, lack of energy or fatigue, changes in weight, slowed thinking or movements, physical problems including pain, and thoughts of death and suicide or suicide attempts. As opposed to sadness, which comes and goes, depression is relentless state that creates negative changes noticeable in one’s daily life. One can feel consistently unhappy without any obvious cause.
The exact cause of depression is unknown, but researchers believe a multitude of factors including changes in brain biology or chemistry, hormonal changes, genetic predisposition all likely play a role. Due to these factors, it is not enough for an individual to focus simply on being positive or snapping out of it. There are many different types of depression, each requiring a dedicated treatment plan, just like any other disorder. Therapy is one of the most useful tools in treating depression. Therapists utilize different therapeutic strategies to effectively treat everyone according to their specific needs.
Effective therapeutic treatments for various kinds of depression include identifying negative thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors, and replacing them with healthy ones, developing healthier coping and problem-solving skills, and realistic goal setting. Individual therapy, along with other forms of treatment, can help people with depression reduce symptoms while restoring hope and providing a safe harbor in a world which feels all too unforgiving.
No one chooses to experience depression and sometimes the onset can happen slowly over time. Feelings of worthlessness and powerlessness are very common with persons identifying with depression. Getting out of bed can seem like a large task most days. We believe in meeting people where they are at. This approach can be comforting and the support can empower people to begin to take steps in reducing depression
Anxiety is a normal reaction to stressful situations and life events. Everyone feels anxious from time to time. Anxiety is often a symptom of mental health issues but can be debilitating on its own. Chronic anxiety, or generalized anxiety disorder, is characterized by ongoing worry and fear which are out of proportion to the impact of the situation. Other symptoms include an inability to relax, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, indecisiveness, inability to handle uncertainty, and overthinking and focusing on worst case scenarios. In addition to psychological symptoms, anxiety often produces physiological problems including fatigue, sweating, sleep problems, muscle tension, nausea, and diarrhea.
This kind of anxiety can be consuming and cause major problems in all areas of life. It can worsen stress related health issues, create discord in relationships, cause problems with work, and limit social opportunities. Most importantly, it holds back the individual from living their life to the fullest. Therapy can successfully reduce anxiety symptoms and is a vital part of the treatment process. Cognitive behavioral therapy, the most common treatment for anxiety, teaches you how to manage your worries and concerns and replace them with healthier coping mechanisms. While incorporating medications and lifestyle changes, such as increased exercise, reducing caffeine, and improving diet and sleep hygiene, can improve anxiety symptoms, talk therapy offers a secure place to be vulnerable and get to the root of issues as they come up.